Horror videogames were never that overly scary when played on a monitor or TV screen as you could always see the world around you and look away if things did get a bit too intense. With virtual reality (VR) however the genre found a natural home, able to envelope you in decaying mansions or howling woods, dialling that feeling of fear and dread up to eleven. Every noise or flickering shadow taunting you with the prospect of some nasty beastie suddenly appearing to gnaw your face off. So as its Halloween, and in the spirit of all things spooky, VRFocus has compiled a list of some of the best titles to play this evening to scare the living sh*t out of you. Have fun and remember, don’t look behind you.
Resident Evil 7 biohazard
You can’t really have a list of horror videogames without having Resident Evil somewhere in among them all, and the latest version which launched at the beginning of the year is one of the best.
Once again set in a creepy house, Resident Evil 7 biohazard features the ever so lovely Baker family who are there to make your life a misery – or kill you preferably – as you look for a way out of the madness.
This is the first Resi videogame completely played from a first-person perspective – which ideally suits VR – with players wandering the rooms and corridors of this dilapidated building picking up the usual weapon items and herbs.
Exclusive to PlayStation VR – for the first 12 months at least – there have been a couple of DLC releases to expand the content, giving players plenty of hours of jumps, scares and shooting action for their money.
Don’t Knock Twice
Coming from British developer Wales Interactive, Don’t Knock Twice is a partial movie tie in with a horror flick of the same name with starred Katee Sackhoff. The videogame doesn’t use much from the movie, just its basic story outline of a mother trying to save her daughter from an evil witch.
Another horror videogame set in and around a dark mansion, you might be surprised to see Don’t Knock Twice on this list as it only gained three stars in VRFocus’ review. But that doesn’t mean it should be over looked.
While relatively short and with some parts of the experience a little frustrating, one thing the studio managed to nail is the atmosphere. As you explore there’s never really a moment where you feel at ease, the wind whistles outside the windows, candles flicker and dance up the walls and there’s one or two jump scares to really spook the unwary.
Another good reason to take a look is that Don’t Knock Twice is multiplatform, available on HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR.
Killing Floor: Incursion
Moving away from creepy atmospheric horror to something a bit more action packed, there’s Tripwire Interactive’s Killing Floor: Incursion for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
Killing Floor: Incursion is a monster filled action romp, that starts off in some dark deserted woods then as the levels progress you travel the world fighting creatures in sewers and on roof tops. For those that like a good scare this may not be quite down their street as the title is more action orientated, however this does mean the entertainment factor is high, with plenty of guns to choose from, bosses to kill and heads to dismember.
An Oculus Rift exclusive, Wilson’s Heart is an interesting mix scares, story driven adventure and comic book style aesthetics. It certainly doesn’t offer the same freedom as the other titles previously mentioned – there’s no free roaming – with movement handled by point to point teleportation, which makes it easier to handle for those that suffer with VR nausea.
Players find themselves in the body of Robert Wilson, a 1940’s hospital patient who makes a grim discovery upon waking up. His heart has been replaced by a mysterious device. As players wander the hospital they’ll discover increasingly maddening corridors, environmental hazards, and sinister inhabitants whilst trying to recover their heart and the reasons for this craziness.
Wilson’s Heart features plenty of brain taxing puzzles with several action sequences thrown in to mix up the pace, making for one of the most innovative experiences for Oculus Rift.
Paranormal Activity: The Lost Soul
Last but not least is VRWERX’s Paranormal Activity: The Lost Soul for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR. This is quintessential horror much like Don’t Knock Twice, with the entire experience making you feel utterly helpless and alone, two ingredients that certainly up the scare factor.
There’s no guns or action like Killing Floor: Incursion just you and a very haunted house. Paranormal Activity: The Lost Soul is one of those VR experiences you might have seen on YouTube where players suddenly get scared, crumpling to the floor.
Based on the hugely popular Paranormal Activity motion-picture series the videogame arms players with just a flashlight, as they explore what appears to be an average looking suburban home before struggling to survive the terror that begins to hunt them.
So there are VRFocus’ suggestions. It’s more than likely this list may have missed off one of your favourites – there are a lot of VR horror titles out there – so why not tell everyone in the comments section below. Additionally, if you’ve got an Oculus Rift or Gear VR then there’s a Halloween sale currently going on to save yourself some cash.